By Adam Hensley
It’s becoming a theme for Hawkeye baseball this season.
Iowa (32-18) rallied from an 8-3 deficit to pull off a 9-8 victory over Omaha (12-37) on May 17, scoring 6 runs in the game’s final three innings for its fourth walk-off of the season.
Mason McCoy hit a ball past the Mavericks’ shortstop to drive in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, his second walk-off winner of the season (his first came against Milwaukee on April 25).
“I am proud that we didn’t quit, we fought back to win the game with some clutch hits down the stretch,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We took advantage of a couple of freebies, and Jake Adams had another big night, and Chris Whelan had a big night.”
Adams connected on 2 home runs in the game, giving him 21 for the season and moving him within one of tying the school record.
He’s hit 5 home runs in the past four games.
Adams’ first sparked Iowa’s rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, down 8-3.
His second time going yard cut Omaha’s lead to 8-7.
“They left a couple over the middle of the plate, and I put a good swing on them,” Adams said in a release. “That sparked us a little bit. We ended up getting a walk-off once again.”
Heller didn’t like what he saw from his pitching unit in the first six innings but noted in a release that “guys came in and settled it” in crunch time.
With Kyle Shimp pitching in the ninth, Iowa took care of the first three Omaha batters in quick fashion. The Hawkeyes got the pitching performance they needed when it mattered most, and the batting followed suit.
“We believe in one another,” Adams said in a release. “Whoever is at the plate, we know they are going to get it done. Mason put the ball in play with two strikes and found a way to get on. We believe in each other; it’s fun to be around these guys in those situations.”
Iowa will travel to Champaign, Illinois, for its last Big Ten series of the season.
The Hawkeyes have a chance to move up in the conference standings, but that hinges on the play of the teams ahead of them.
Iowa’s 13-8 conference record ranks it fifth in the Big Ten. Maryland (15-9), Michigan (14-7), Nebraska (14-6-1), and Minnesota (14-6) hold the top four spots.
“It was an exciting ending again and a fun way to end the regular season at home as we head to Illinois,” Heller said in a release. “We’ll put the first seven innings behind us, and hopefully, we’ll play a lot better at Illinois this weekend.”